A judge in eastern Tennessee has dropped an anchor amid the deluge of state and federal court rulings favoring same-sex marriage. In a decision last week, Roane County Circuit Judge Russell E. Simmons Jr. said Tennessee, which defines marriage as only between a man and woman, need not recognize gay marriages performed in another state.
“The court finds that Tennessee’s laws concerning same-sex marriage do not violate the equal protection clause or the U.S. Constitution,” Simmons wrote in his opinion, which U.S. Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston posted online Monday.
The case involved two men, Frederick Michael Borman and Larry Kevin Pyles-Borman, who married in Iowa in 2010. They later moved to Tennessee, separated, and filed for divorce. But since Tennessee bans same-sex marriage in its constitution and does not recognize homosexual marriages made in other states, Tennessee officials would not grant divorce proceedings.
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